I was reading this New York Times article Sunday morning with interest as I’ve seen my fair share of yoga injuries and have experienced a couple as well.
The majority of injuries I’ve seen come from one of two sources (or, in some cases, a combination of both):
- Overly prescriptive ideas about yoga — that is, an attention to what the body should look like over and above attention to how the body feels. It’s one reason I’ve left studios and teachers that seem to have this not-good-for-me preoccupation.
- Wanting to enter poses and shapes and variations that either aren’t good for a particular body or aren’t good for that body right now. (A common example: straight legs in forward fold or down dog early on in a practice is all kinds of bad for me, even if I happily straighten my legs when I’m warmed up.)
Aside from that, while I don’t want to discount rarer injuries, it’s important to place them in that context of rarer injuries. I could hurt myself while running, while moving furniture, while playing with my dogs on the floor. And one of the ways I do commonly cause myself pain is to stay in a single position for too long (computer desk, I am looking at you!). So for me it’s also a matter of calculated risk — and yes, I’d rather risk theoretical injury from a mindful, reasonable asana practice than to pretty much guarantee myself pain from not doing it.
I know it’s a longer read, but I’m wondering if any of you read it — and if so, what did you think?